Why I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA)

For those who may be unfamiliar with equality ideology, Feminism is a gender equality ideology followed by Feminists.  The Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) is a gender equality ideology followed by Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs).

There are going to be a series of people who see this article’s heading and will ignorantly respond with, “You’re not a Men’s Rights Activist, because you don’t hate women.”
I want to clarify with absolute certainty that I do not view MRAs as women haters. 
Feminism and the Men’s Rights Movement are  gender equality ideologies, not genders.

Being an MRA or a feminist speaks of a philosophical position on gender issues, gender inequality, their causes, as well as their solutions, and that is all. You can disagree with an ideology without having an issue with the people it purports to represent, or the people that represent it.
“But isn’t there an angry or hateful element to the MRA community?”
A while ago I released an article called “Am I dangerous?” (see here). It storied a perception plight faced by the majority of men in western culture.  The article clearly struck a chord as it was shared on many MRA pages and though viewed a few thousand times, I saw only one comment in response to the question posed by the article title that made me pause.  It said this, “You’re damn right I am!”
I think that comment speaks to an underlying anger experienced by an element of the MRA community. However the comment was just one in thousands, I see many of the same kind of comments from feminists when discussing gender issues. In each case, the individual is not indicative of the whole and that becomes obvious when you spend time on ‘moderated’ pages for either group.
If anything, most MRAs I meet are amazed to meet anyone sympathetic to their cause, they are that used to being attacked and ridiculed. My partner recently met a man where she explained the awareness campaign I’m running for gender issues affecting both genders. She described his response as “amazement spoken in hushed whispers lest anyone overhear”.  That’s the average MRA response, fear of persecution for an alternate perspective, joy that they are not alone in wanting to represent male gender issues—and in the case of meeting my partner, amazement that a woman is willing and open to the discussion of men’s issues.
I’m not sure why in western culture the majority understand that representing women’s issues is not an attack on men, but a desire to represent men’s issues is seen as anti-women.
As for the actual Men’s Rights Movement philosophy, I could turn this article into a long debate about individual elements of the MRM philosophy that I disagree with, and in future articles I’ll do just that—but my reason for not being an MRA is much simpler than that:
I love my mother, my grandmother, my sister, my aunt, my nieces, my partner and my female friends. 
That may be a confusing thing to say after such a lengthy explanation of why I believe MRAs are not anti-women—however they are not pro-women either.  I respect a desire to represent and give voice to men’s issues but I feel that ultimately the pursuit of gender issues from just one perspective creates new inequality. I can’t be an MRA for largely the same reason I can’t be feminist, doing so picks a gender side, I have no interest in sides, I have an interest in resolving the gender issues and inequalities experienced (in different ways) by both genders.
To be completely blunt, my position on gender issues is governed by self-interest. That’s accurate for almost anyone representing gender issue, I’m just one of the only people being honest about it. If you think that’s not true… how many feminists do you know that aren’t female?  How many MRAs do you know that aren’t male?  Odds are, very few. My self-interest however expands beyond myself to my family and I’m not sure how anyone with a loving family (especially if you are interested in gender issues) cannot be firmly for combatting gender issues that affect more than just their own gender.
In short I don’t think being an MRA is enough in the fight against gender inequality and as there are men and women in my life that matter to me, I feel the need to pursue the issues experienced by both genders.
If you are a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA); know that I am empathetic to the fact that you are representing some of the world’s most politically unsexy gender issues like foetal rights, equal death for equal pay, equal time for equal crimes, and an end to male-gender-only military conscription. I support your wish to shine a light on these and other men’s issues. For myself however, I couldn’t sleep at night if I wasn’t also trying to shine a light on issues like rape, battered women, child brides and acid attacks.
That being said if you are an MRA, thank you for representing men’s issues. I respect anyone who fights gender issues and inequality for one gender, far more than those who are fighting for neither.

Did you find this interesting?  You might also enjoy the counter article “Why I’m not a feminist?”

13 Replies to “Why I’m not a Men’s Rights Activist (MRA)

  1. The Men's Right Movement is an anti-female, hate movement. It is run by people who express hatred of women. I'll provide examples (these aren't a few extremists these are the most popular & influential mra's in the movement).

    Paul Elam (the most popular & well known mra) wrote – Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.And I look forward to the opportunity to do so for very good reason – http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/jury-duty-at-a-rape-trial-acquit/

    if I were to see a woman being raped I would continue on as if nothing ever happened. And I still stand by that statement without apology – which the number 1 mra AVFM thought was a respectable enough opinion to include on their website http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/chivalry/a-message-for-white-knights/

    Matt Forney – who wrote an article giving advice on why you should beat your girlfriend & how you can get away with it https://archive.today/cdqRH how to crush a girl’s self esteem https://archive.today/CK6U3 and that women are intellectually inferior https://archive.today/i8Dgm

    Zen Priest a MRA who is a personal friend of Paul Elam’s who is praised on AVFM – (on a man who saved a little girl from drowning) i know i would never save an adult CUNT . . . i would be hard pressed to save a female child knowing what she might have the potential to do in the future . . .When a female is in trouble, if I don’t know her, I don’t see her http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/20/the-masculine-mystique-inside-the-men-s-rights-movement-mrm.html

    MRA Tom Martin says that vulnerable children coerced into abuse by adults are whores should be jailed, while pedophiles should be given compassionate treatment http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2012/07/13/tom-martin-leading-uk-mens-rights-activist-pedophiles-who-pay-children-for-sex-are-not-really-rapists-because-the-child-understands-the-nature-of-the-contract/comment-page-10/#comment-176177 & retweets his comments https://twitter.com/Sexismbusters

    AVFM article advocates seizing all babies whose fathers did not want to have them & put them up for adoption http://www.donotlink.com/framed?662296

    MRA Jason Gregory wrote an article saying women are obselete with no use apart from making sandwiches and should get the fuck out http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/marriage/marriage-is-an-obsolete-technology-and-so-are-women/

    The most famous & popular female MRA Girl Writes What defended the article “The Necessity of Domestic Violence” & argued that most victims bring it on themselves and enjoy it http://www.reddit.com/r/FeMRA/comments/y0nod/jto_brought_up_the_point_so_here_it_is_ferdinand/c5rjmh3

    AVFM (number 1 mra website) article which says “Women are facing a very real and grave problem in our culture: They are obnoxious cunts” – http://www.avoiceformen.com/sexual-politics/its-a-woman-problem/

  2. I respect your position and thank you for your comment! Those quotes really are horrible, however I find that there are many bad individuals that represent an ideology poorly (true for all ideologies) and I try to limit my judgement to that person, not the entire ideology. Could I suggest if your position on any gender equality ideology is based on what famous members of that movement say, then you need to do it for feminism as well the MRM? Here are some quotes from famous feminists:
    As I often say on this site, I'm not a feminist, I'm not an MRA – I support the goals and objectives of both, and don't necessarily agree or disagree with the ideology or the people representing either. I hope this provides a nice neutral piece of feedback and again, thank you for your thoughts 🙂

  3. Hello Mr. Kroker,
    I too have run into MRAs that are over the top with their view. Also, have ended friendships with a few feminist for the same reason. Sadly, a boyfriend read and tried to apply Matt Forneys way of thinking to our relationship and I immediately ended the relationship and after that experience I've got to say I found myself tempted to just generalize all men into that category. It took alot of soul searching not to go down that path. I like you believe one sided ideologies aren't going to help with gender issues being understood and hopefully solved to some extent. Thanks for your insight. It's nice knowing I'm not the only person who sees things like this.

  4. Great article ! … Sooooo very tired of the lens of the ideology determining the best course of action usually by beating down the other side. They both have lost their way and are more interested in winning the fight and pushing their respective agenda's through rather than the actually finding fair results (stay away from equity/equality words as they bring in a bunch of other stuff).

  5. You have cherry picked a few comments, some of them almost certainly misinterpreted or crudely simplified (Karen Straughan would not write in favour of domestic violence and Paul Elam's most infamous article was satirical and written in response to an article on the feminist site Jezebel which did take a very lighthearted view of women being violent to their male partners) and even if that were not the case you can't dismiss an entire movement or group of people based on the actions of a few individuals. If you did you would have to dismiss all Muslims as murderous extremists and all feminists as man-hating psychopaths like Valerie Solanas.

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